Texas Softball News

Texas softball added Texas Lutheran transfer Cassie Roche to the program recently. The infielder helped power the Bulldogs to the 2019 NCAA Division III National Championship.

Texas head softball coach Mike White recently officially announced the signing of Texas Lutheran (Division III) infielder Cassie Roche (Senior/IF/Corpus Christi, Texas/Texas Lutheran/Gregory-Portland H.S.) to join the Longhorns program heading into the 2020-21 academic year.

“We’re excited to have Cassie join our program for the 2021 season,” White said. “She will provide depth to our infield, while adding another speed threat on the base paths and bringing along valuable postseason experience to our squad.”

Cassie Roche
Position/Class: IF/Senior
Hometown: Corpus Christi, Texas
Previous College: Texas Lutheran (DIII)
High School: Gregory-Portland H.S.

During her standout career at NCAA Division III power Texas Lutheran, Roche posted a .361 batting average over 148 career games with 112 runs scored, 133 hits, 57 walks, 79 stolen bases, 33 doubles, 11 HR’s and 90 RBIs, while also posting a .450 on-base percentage and a .996 OPS. As a junior in 2019, she helped lead the Bulldogs to the NCAA Division III National Championship and earned National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Second Team All-West Region honors after hitting at a .324 clip with a team-best six HR’s and 32 RBIs. The speedster also swiped 31 bases in 31 attempts that season and posted a 31/11 walk-to-strikeout ratio. During the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign, Roche was hitting a career-best .422 overall with a HR and 14 RBIs over the first 20 games. She earned a nod as the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Player of the Week on March 9, 2020, after leading her squad with a .545 average during the Tucson Invitational and the prestigious NFCA Leadoff Classic.

In other Texas Longhorn news the team welcomed Courtney Gettins as a volunteer assistant coach. Gettins played colldgiately at Alabama and internationally for Team New Zealand.

Texas head softball coach Mike White announced that the former Alabama pitcher and Jacksonville graduate assistant coach Courtney Gettins will be joining the Longhorns program as a volunteer assistant coach.

“We’re excited to announce the addition of Courtney Gettins as our volunteer coach,” White said. “She possesses a wealth of experience from her time as a pitcher both at the international level with New Zealand and at the University of Alabama. Her experience will help us not only with our pitching staff, but also through her ability to throw live batting practice to our hitters.”

Most recently, Gettins served as a graduate assistant coach at Jacksonville University (2019-20), working with the pitching staff while also assisting with aspects of film, recruiting and creating bullpen/practice plans.

A pitcher at the University of Alabama for two seasons from 2018-19, Gettins registered a 20-7 overall record with a 2.90 ERA in 43 appearances with 28 starts, 14 complete games, and 112 strikeouts over 183.1 innings. During her time as a team captain for the Crimson Tide, she helped UA to the 2019 Southeastern Conference regular-season title and to a berth in the 2019 Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla. She also became the first Alabama pitcher to toss a no-hitter in her debut, blanking Lamar in a five-inning contest back on Feb. 9, 2018.

Prior to her time at “The Capstone,” Gettins was a two-time National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) First Team All-American and National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-American pitcher at Florida SouthWestern State College in Fort Myers, Fla. She earned 2016 NJCAA Division I National Pitcher of the Year honors as a freshman, after posting a 39-6 record with a 1.45 ERA, and led the nation in wins as a sophomore in 2017 with a 35-1 record and a 1.46 ERA. After going a perfect 11-0 with a 0.84 ERA in league play in 2017, Gettins earned her second consecutive Suncoast Conference Pitcher of the Year accolade.

Internationally, Gettins played for Team New Zealand in two Under-19 World Championships, three Open Women’s World Series and during the 2019 Asia/Oceania Olympic Qualifier.

A native of Hastings, New Zealand, Gettins graduated from Alabama in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in human environmental sciences. She also earned her associate of arts from Florida SouthWestern State in 2017.

Source- University of Texas Athletics

Has COVID-19 Killed College Softball’s Growth?

College softball was growing by leaps and bounds bringing in record numbers of TV audiences and live game attendance numbers but all that changed when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and ground the entire world to a halt.

It started out with just some games scheduled for the near future being cancelled but as the virus numbers continued to grow came the decision that the rest of the 2019-2020 college softball season would be eliminated including the playoffs and the 2020 WCWS.

With that decision things in the softball world got thrown in to a whirlwind. Questions arose like what would happen to senior players? Would softball teams that don’t have deep pockets be eliminated from school programs?

The NCAA made the decision to allow seniors a extra, 5th year of eligibility, if they wanted it. This sounded good but created problems of its own. Player’s scholarship spots weren’t guaranteed. A lot of the players already had post graduation plans or jobs lined up and would they be able or even want to push them off to play another year of softball?

Then came the decision by Wisconsin that even if they wanted to return the university wouldn’t allow seniors to return and play in the 2020-2021 season. That their time spent at the university was done and it was time for them to move on.

Another big blow for the sport came when it was announced that the 2020 Olympics were delayed and looks like they might not happen at all unless a vaccine is found for the virus soon. The Olympic softball team is made up of both pro and top college softball players. This would have been the first time softball was included in the Olympic games since 2008.

The 2020-2021 college softball season as of now is up in the air. Rumors going around think that it might be a
shortened season with only regional conference games being played and then the playoffs.

Whatever happens the once very bright future of college softball has taken a big hit and unlike major revenue
generating college sports such as, football and basketball, it might be hard for softball to recover and get back to the point where they were before the virus struck and changed our world forever.